L.J. Collier

2023 NFL Fifth-Year Option Results

Monday marked the deadline for NFL clubs to officially pick up their options on 2019 first-rounders. Fifth-year option seasons are no longer just guaranteed for injury — they’re now fully guaranteed, which makes these decisions a little tougher for teams.

Nineteen players had their options exercised, a tick up from 14 last year. Here’s the full rundown:

1. QB Kyler Murray, Cardinals – Exercised ($29.7MM)
2. DE Nick Bosa, 49ers: Exercised ($17.9MM)
3. DE Quinnen Williams, Jets: Exercised ($11.5MM)
4. DE Clelin Ferrell, Raiders: Declined ($11.5MM)
5. LB Devin White, Buccaneers: Exercised ($11.7MM)
6. QB Daniel Jones, Giants: Declined ($22.4MM)
7. DE Josh Allen, Jaguars: Exercised ($11.5MM)
8. TE T.J. Hockenson, Lions: Exercised ($9.4MM)
9. DT Ed Oliver, Bills: Exercised ($10.8MM)
10. LB Devin Bush, Steelers: Declined ($10.9MM)
11. OT Jonah Williams, Bengals: Exercised ($12.6MM)
12. LB Rashan Gary, Packers: Exercised ($10.9MM)
13. DT Christian Wilkins, Dolphins: Exercised ($10.8MM)
14. G Chris Lindstrom, Falcons: Exercised ($13.2MM)
15. QB Dwayne Haskins:
16. DE Brian Burns, Panthers: Exercised ($16MM)
17. DT Dexter Lawrence, Giants: Exercised ($10.8MM)
18. C Garrett Bradbury, Vikings: Declined ($13.2MM)
19. DT Jeffery Simmons, Titans: Exercised ($10.8MM)
20. TE Noah Fant, Seahawks: Exercised ($6.9MM; originally drafted by Broncos)
21. S Darnell Savage, Packers: Exercised ($7.9MM)
22. OT Andre Dillard, Eagles: Declined ($12.6MM)
23. OT Tytus Howard, Texans: Exercised ($13.2MM)
24. RB Josh Jacobs, Raiders: Declined ($8MM)
25. WR Marquise Brown, Cardinals: ($13.4MM; originally drafted by Ravens)
26. DE Montez Sweat, Commanders: Exercised ($11.5MM)
27. S Johnathan Abram, Raiders: Declined ($7.9MM)
28. DE Jerry Tillery, Chargers: Declined ($11.5MM)
29. DE L.J. Collier, Seahawks: Declined ($11.5MM)
30. CB Deandre Baker — N/A (released by Giants)
31. OT Kaleb McGary, Falcons: Declined ($13.2MM)
32. WR N’Keal Harry, Patriots: Declined ($12.4MM)

Seahawks Declining L.J. Collier’s Fifth-Year Option

The Seahawks have made the decision to decline the fifth-year option of the rookie contract for defensive end L.J. Collier, according to Charean Williams of NBC Sports. The writing was on the wall for the former first-round draft pick out of TCU, as Collier’s stock has been trending slowly down since his inception in the league. 

After spending most of his rookie season on the sideline with an injury, Collier started every game in his sophomore season. The full year in a starting position only yielded 3.0 sacks, 4.0 tackles for loss, and 7 quarterback hits.

Throughout the beginning of this past season, Collier was named a healthy-scratch in seven of the first ten games. Newly acquired defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche subbed in for Collier and, by the end of September, Seahawks defensive coordinator Ken Norton said that Nkemdiche had surpassed Collier on the depth chart.

It’s unclear whether the 26-year-old will be able to drum up any interest in the trade market, after failing to do so during the season last year, but, unless Collier has a 2022 NFL season to remember, it may be his last in Seattle.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/31/21

Here are the New Year’s Eve additions and subtractions from teams’ reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Activated from practice squad virus list: T Drew Himmelman, LB Barrington Wade

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Seahawks To Keep L.J. Collier?

Sounds like L.J. Collier is staying put. The Seahawks are not expected to trade the defensive lineman between now and the 4pm ET/3pm CT deadline, according to sources who spoke with Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

The former first-round pick has hardly seen the field, playing in just two games so far this year. Despite that, Fowler hears that the Seahawks still see him as “valuable.” Reading between the lines, that probably means the Seahawks were underwhelmed with the offers they received.

Collier, the No. 29 overall pick in 2019, hardly played as a rookie but started in all 16 of the Seahawks’ games last year. This year, things have trended in the wrong direction, with Collier ceding ground to Robert Nkemdiche.

For now, the TCU product will remain with the only NFL team he’s ever known. Unless he manages to impress Pete Carroll & Co. this year, you can expect him to be back on the block in the offseason. By then, he’ll have just one year left on his deal with a fairly modest $1.97MM base salary.

Seahawks DL L.J. Collier Generating Trade Interest

It would be an understatement to say that Seahawks DL L.J. Collier has not lived up to his status as a first-round draft pick. The No. 29 overall choice of the 2019 draft played in just 152 snaps in his rookie campaign, though he later said that his rush to return from a preseason ankle sprain may have played a role in that limited usage. But after starting all 16 games and Seattle’s lone playoff contest in 2020, Collier has been active for only two games in 2021.

As such, his name has come up in trade conversations, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Rapoport does not say which teams have reached out to the Seahawks, but he does indicate that Seattle entertained discussions before and during the season. Given the disappointing start to his career, the Seahawks cannot expect a significant return in a Collier trade, and rival clubs are surely hoping for a low-risk, high-reward transaction.

Ironically, another former No. 29 overall pick, Robert Nkemdiche, has played a part in Collier’s lack of a role on this year’s defense. Nkemdiche, who was selected by the Cardinals in the 2016 draft and who was nothing short of a bust, was out of football entirely in 2020 and played in only two games in 2019. However, Seahawks DC Ken Norton said at the end of September that Nkemdiche had surpassed Collier on the depth chart.

“It came down to competition,” Norton said. “It came down to being able to play, being able to make quick decisions…and right now we felt like Nkemdiche was a little ahead of [Collier].”

It is certainly telling that Collier is having a hard time seeing the field for a defense that is ranked dead-last in terms of yards per game and that has been unable to generate a consistent pass rush. Still, plenty of teams need edge help, and it could be that a change of scenery will help the TCU product unlock his potential.

Latest On Seahawks DE L.J. Collier

The Seahawks clearly had high hopes for L.J. Collier when they selected the defensive end in the first round of the 2019 draft. However, through the first three games of Collier’s third professional season, the player has seen only 20 defensive snaps and has been inactive in two of three games. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton was asked about Collier’s lack of playing time, and the coach simply pointed to the depth chart.

“It came down to competition,” Norton said (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson on Twitter). “It came down to being able to play, being able to make quick decisions…and right now we felt like [Robert] Nkemdiche was a little ahead of him.”

Collier barely played during his rookie campaign, but he took on a more significant role in 2020. The defensive lineman started each of the Seahawks 16 games last year, collecting 22 tackles and three sacks. He also started Seattle’s playoff game.

However, he’s found himself buried on the depth chart once again in 2021. Nkemdiche, a recent practice squad promotion, had even jumped ahead of Collier on the depth chart. Fortunately for the 26-year-old, he could have a role this weekend while Kerry Hyder recovers from a concussion.

NFC West Notes: Ford, Clowney, Collier

Dee Ford played a key part of the 49ers‘ dramatic pass rush improvement last season, but the former Chiefs edge defender spent the season battling injuries. The 49ers did not use Ford last season nearly as much as the Chiefs did in 2018, with Ford’s knee and hamstring troubles contributing to his sporadic deployment. Ford took a step to a healthier 2020 season by undergoing knee surgery this offseason, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Ford described the operation as a “pretty extensive cleanup.”

He underwent the procedure a few weeks after Super Bowl LIV. Ford encountered multiple bouts of knee tendinitis last year, first in training camp and then aggravating the injury while training on artificial surfaces when the 49ers prepped for their Bengals game in Ohio. This preceded his hamstring trouble, but it sounds like Ford’s knee was an issue throughout the season. The 29-year-old defender said he “feels great” months later.

I’m able to actually explode off of this knee,” said Ford, who finished with 6.5 sacks last season. “Thinking back on it, I can’t believe I played a whole season on it. And we knew at the end of the day what we had to do — (it) had to be surgical. But I didn’t want to miss the season. We had too much going on. I didn’t want to miss that. It’s in the bag now. I’m confident in that.

Here is the latest from the NFC West, shifting to some Seahawks defensive line matters:

  • Although he has most recently been connected to the Browns and Titans, Jadeveon Clowney remains on the Seahawks‘ radar. Clowney’s most recent team remains interested in a reunion, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. But, as has been the case throughout, the Seahawks appear to be hoping Clowney will drop his asking price. Clowney already did so earlier this offseason, but based on his 2 1/2-month free agency stay, the former No. 1 overall pick appears to still be asking for more than teams are willing to pay.
  • L.J. Collier did not accomplish much on the field during his rookie season, playing only 152 defensive snaps and making just three tackles. Collier, however, suffered a high ankle sprain in the preseason and said he may have rushed back from the injury. The TCU product is healthy now as training camp approaches (Twitter links via Condotta). The Seahawks plan to give Collier a shot to play a Michael Bennett-type role in their defense. Collier is slated to work at both defensive end and D-tackle, Condotta adds (on Twitter).
  • The Cardinals have not made a strong effort to lock up Patrick Peterson on another extension, but the contract-year cornerback said he still wants to play his entire career in Arizona.
  • Conversely, Rams No. 1 corner Jalen Ramsey received a strong endorsement from his head coach about both his future with the Rams and ability to reset his position’s market.

West Notes: Hawks, Brown, Raiders, Bolts

Pete Carroll said the Seahawks indeed looked into Antonio Brown once the Raiders released him on Saturday, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN. Carroll said he and GM John Schneider always communicate on potential moves but added, “Not everything is always as it seems and you’ve got check into stuff and figure out what’s going on.” Carroll also gave the impression that a stronger Seahawks pursuit of the four-time All-Pro may not have mattered, indicating Brown was intent on signing with the Patriots. “He was headed to New England. He was going,” Carroll said. The Seahawks and Browns were the two other teams mentioned as interested in Brown.

Now for more from the league’s west divisions:

  • More than a year after pleading guilty to insider trading, Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks has still not been sentenced and will not be any time soon, according to Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith. Kendricks’ sentencing, which has already been delayed for nine months, was delayed again and is now scheduled for November 21. Kendricks started for the Seahawks this past Sunday against the Bengals, tallying seven tackles (one for loss).
  • Jon Gruden scoffed when asked about Brown’s lawsuit, as Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Authentic relays (Twitter link). “I’m not aware of anything,” Gruden said. “If you want to ask about him you can call his employer.” The civil suit surfaced three days after Brown agreed to terms with the Patriots.
  • Adding to the Chargers’ injury woes, Anthony Lynn said today that he is concerned about the knee of wide receiver Mike Williams, ESPN’s Adam Schefter relays (Twitter link). Earlier today, it was reported that tight end Hunter Henry had suffered a tibia fracture to his left knee and would be sidelined for 4-6 weeks. The Bolts are already without starting left tackle Russell Okung and All-Pro safety Derwin James. Williams dealt with injury trouble as a rookie but played in 16 games last season.
  • Seahawks first-round pick L.J. Collier returned to practice today for the first time since spraining his ankle early in camp. Carroll said the TCU defensive end product has a chance to make his debut Sunday against the Steelers, Henderson adds. The Seahawks stand to have their entire defensive line healthy soon, with Ziggy Ansah also on the verge of making his Seattle debut. Ansah was limited Wednesday.

West Notes: Chiefs, Hill, Reaser, Seahawks, Collier, Gruden, Peterman

Just a few months ago, it looked like Tyreek Hill‘s time with the Chiefs was coming to an end. Since then the situation has changed completely, and Hill didn’t even get suspended by the league. The team reportedly always felt like Hill was being honest with them, and they stood by their star receiver despite taking a lot of heat. Kansas City apparently never considered disciplining Hill on their own outside of the league’s investigation, according to Albert Breer of SI.com.

In Breer’s piece, he also notes that Chiefs owner Clark Hunt spoke recently on his first conversation with Hill since this saga started. “So I had a good visit with him earlier in this week. I’m not going to get into the details of that conversation, but it was a very frank conversation, talking to him about responsibility as he comes back to be a Kansas City Chief,” Hunt said. Now that Hill has been cleared by the league, he’s reportedly likely to get an extension soon.

Here’s more from the league’s western divisions:

  • Speaking of the Chiefs, it sounds like they may have gotten some tough injury news. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said it looks like cornerback Keith Reaser may have an Achilles tendon tear, according to Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). Teams usually know right away but have to wait for MRI confirmation, so it’s almost certainly an Achilles tear for Reaser if Reid would say that publicly. Assuming that’s the case, he’ll miss the entire season. Reaser spent parts of the last two seasons with the Chiefs, and also played for the Orlando Apollos in the AAF. Kansas City’s already thin cornerback group just got a little less deep.
  • Speaking of injuries, it sounds like Seahawks first-round pick defensive end L.J. Collier is going to be on the shelf for a while. Collier, the 29th overall pick in April’s draft, is dealing with a high ankle sprain, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Collier almost certainly won’t be playing in the preseason, and it sounds like he’s in danger of missing regular season time. The Seahawks traded away their best pass-rusher in Frank Clark this offseason, and they’re counting on Collier to play a big role for them in 2019. If he’s sidelined for regular season action, it’ll be a huge blow to their already depleted pass-rush.
  • Raiders coach Jon Gruden caused quite the uproar online earlier today when he raved about quarterback Nathan Peterman. Speaking to the media at camp, Gruden said “this Nate Peterman is growing on me,” per Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal (Twitter link). Gruden also said “I know he’s got some nightmare performances in the NFL, but when you watch the film, you can see why: It’s not all his fault.” Peterman, of course, has become somewhat of a punchline during his brief NFL career due to a couple of brutal performances. In his first career start as a rookie for the Bills in 2017, he threw five interceptions before being benched. He was equally as disastrous last year, tossing seven interceptions in just two starts and two relief appearances. After being cut by Buffalo, the Pittsburgh product latched on with Oakland. He’s battling with Mike Glennon for backup duties, and it sounds like he has a very real chance to hold Derek Carr‘s clipboard in 2019.

Seahawks Sign First-Rounder L.J. Collier

The Seahawks have signed first-round pick L.J. Collier, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The No. 29 overall selection will earn $10.8MM on the four-year pact with a $5.9MM signing bonus. 

Collier only spent one full season as a full-time starter at TCU, but he could be asked to take on a major role in the Seahawks’ defense as a rookie following the trade of Frank Clark to the Chiefs that brought the No. 29 pick to Seattle. The Seahawks also signed Ziggy Ansah to help on the edge, but his shoulder might prevent him from taking the field to start the season.

Collier profiles as a power rusher, though his 6’2″, 283-pound frame could put him at a disadvantage against larger tackles. His snap reaction time also needs some work, but the Seahawks believe they can get him up to speed between now and September.

With Collier under contract, the Seahawks have only two unsigned rookies left: second-round wide receiver D.K. Metcalf and third-round linebacker Cody Barton.